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Thiel announces public phase of largest capital campaign in College’s history


GREENVILLE, Pa.—The public phase of the College’s most ambitious fundraising campaign in its 149-year history was announced today. The Thiel 2016 Campaign aims to raise $60 million by the end of 2016.

President VanAken made the announcement to the campus community Friday morning and will host the black tie Thiel 2016 Gala kickoff event for alumni, donors, friends and staff Friday evening.

“Campaigns strengthen colleges. Successful campaigns bring focus and unity to a shared vision,” VanAken said. “This campaign provides momentum, moving the College forward and encouraging us to achieve dreams.”

Reaching the campaign goal will coincide with another historic milestone—the celebration of the College’s sesquicentennial anniversary. So far, the Thiel 2016 Campaign has raised a school-record $55 million since the quiet phase started July 1, 2009. More than 170 individuals have made commitments of $10,000 or more and 44 organizations have provided more than $20 million in support. The quiet phase has included three of the largest gifts in school history and has launched the Dietrich Honors Institute, the Baughman Scholarships and many other academic initiatives. The quiet phase included the construction of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified James Pedas Communication Center and the Rissell-Schreyer Dome, as well as new turf and lights at Alumni Stadium.

“We have been awed by our donors’ support during the quiet phase of the campaign and know the public phase will deliver similarly impressive results,” Executive Director of the Capital Campaign Roberta Leonard said. “We are grateful for the support and thank all the donors for their generosity and investment in Thiel College.”

The priorities in the public phase include funding the Professor David Miller, M.B.A. ’61 endowed chair, four new showcase science labs, a track and field complex and continued support of the Thiel Fund.

“These initiatives will make us stretch and reach for more. We are building a stronger Thiel College that will serve students for the next 150 years,” VanAken said.

The four focus areas of the public phase are noteworthy for several reasons and will have a lasting impact at Thiel College. Miller started teaching in 1963 and is the longest-serving professor in the College’s history. The showcase labs will improve Thiel College’s ability to recruit and graduate the strongest science students in its history. A new track and field complex will bring Thiel’s final athletic team back on campus and give them a home field. The new complex will also open up additional practice space and strengthen the College’s role as a community resource. The Thiel Fund—the College’s largest revenue stream outside of tuition—is a vital lifeline for unexpected spending needs.

In support of the public phase, the College’s Advancement team has a national series of events announcing the Thiel 2016 Campaign in 21 cities over the next 10 days.

For more information on the Thiel 2016 Campaign, visit the campaign website (launching later today).

About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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